Twenty Chambers Across Ontario Call for Deferral in Provincial Cap & Trade Program to prevent jobs, investment from leaving Ontario

Today, 20 chambers across Ontario called for a deferral of the Provincial Government’s Cap and Trade program scheduled to be implemented January 1, 2017, citing high costs of the program layered of top of skyrocketing electricity prices, lack of sector by sector economic impact and a change in policy direction in the United States.

On December 9, 2016, the Windsor-Essex Regional and Leamington District Chambers hosted a news conference with representatives from the greenhouse growers sector on the affects of cap and trade on their businesses and asked for a deferral of the Cap and Trade.

In Ontario, since 2004, electricity prices have increased by 383%, from a flat rate of 4.7 cents a kilowatt hour to 18 cents a kilowatt hour at peak times. The introduction of the Cap and Trade system will add further charges on natural gas, gasoline and diesel fuel that will be keenly felt by every individual and business in Ontario.

Matt Marchand, President & CEO of the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce (WERCC) says, “Businesses are already struggling under the weight of ever increasing costs and we are extremely concerned about the impacts of these additional charges on jobs and the economy.”

“We have already lost hundreds of millions of investment to other jurisdictions like Ohio due to high electricity prices, layering on cap and trade will no doubt make it much worse,” said Marchand.

“The unintended impact of Ontario’s cap and trade may result in a removal of jobs and investment from clean grids like Ontario to much dirtier grids in the U.S. and elsewhere,” said Marchand.

Despite repeated requests, we still have not received a sector by sector economic impact analysis and given that President Elect Trump and a vast majority of states seem unlikely to participate in the cap and trade program, 20 Chambers across Ontario request that the Ontario government delay the implementation of the cap and trade program for at least one year.